May 29, 2020
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H&M tops sustainable textiles ranking, launches new eco swim collab with UK surf collective

May 29, 2020

H&M is continuing to focus on its sustainability credentials with news that it’s launching a new collab swimwear collection and that it has topped a key ranking from the global non-profit Textile Exchange.

H&M's new swimwear collab with Women + Waves

The charity group’s new 2019 Material Change Insights Report provides an in-depth evaluation of the state of sustainable materials sourcing in the textile sector. And H&M Group leads the ranking in the use of organic cotton and down certified by the Responsible Down Standard. 

It also continues to be one of the world’s biggest users of recycled cotton, wool, nylon and lyocell. And it’s the number one company sourcing ‘preferred’ cotton. This includes organic and recycled cotton as well as that sourced through the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), among others. 

And it’s one of the world’s biggest users of recycled materials, such as recycled nylon – from old fishing nets, carpets and leftover waste from production – and recycled polyester. 

That news coincided with the announcement that the retailer’s H&M chain and webstore has, for the first time, collaborated with an all-female surf community and is launching a sustainable swimwear collection.

Teaming up with Women + Waves, a collective founded in 2017 by Rachel Murphy and based in Cornwall, England, the swimwear collection features designs “with a subtle 1990s look and cuts for an active lifestyle”. 

It’s the first fashion move for Women + Waves, with pieces made from sustainably sourced materials, including recycled polyamide, recycled polyester and organic cotton. It will be available on hm.com and in selected stores from 4 June.

The products include one-pieces, rash guards and a wetsuit in natural rubber, all designed by an H&M in-house team in close collaboration with the collective. There’s also a hoodie, T-shirt and accessories featuring Women + Waves logos by illustrator and fellow member Clara Jonas.

“When we came across Women + Waves for the first time, we were blown away by the power and authenticity of this all-female surf collective,” said Maria Östblom, head of design womenswear at H&M. 

“It’s unique, positive and inspiring. Together, we knew it was important to have functional and fashionable swimwear as the core of the collection, which could then be styled for any occasion under the current circumstances we are in, when we might only be able to dream of our summer destinations,”

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